Days after refuse to deport Zakir Naik, Malaysian PM meets the preacher

Kuala Lumpur: After saying televangelist Dr. Zakir Naik will not be deported to India, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has met briefly the Islamic preacher on Saturday, Malaysian media reported on Sunday.

Dr. Naik, 52, on his Facebook page posted several photographs of him with the Malaysian PM posing for the camera with smiles on their faces with a caption read, “DR ZAKIR NAIK in Focus with TUN DR. MAHATHIR MOHAMAD.”

The Facebook posts had garnered over 15,000 likes by Sunday evening and were shared thousands of times, reported Janta Ka Reporter.

Quickly taunting the Indian media, one Facebook user wrote, “Haters will say…. It’s inside the jail.” Another Facebook user wrote, “Tell Indian media stop spreading false news.”

On Friday, Mahathir had rubbished reports by Indian channels and confirmed that Dr. Naik will not be deported. “As long as he is not creating any problem, we will not deport him because he has been given permanent residency status,” the Malaysian PM said at a news conference in administrative capital Putrajaya outside Kuala Lumpur, when asked about the reports.

Mahathir‘s statement came two days after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the extradition request of Naik made by India is under active consideration by the Malaysian government.

Dr. Naik reportedly left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to largely Muslim Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.

The reports say India had asked for Naik to be sent back for allegedly inciting youth to engage in terror activities via his hate speeches.

Zakir Naik has described the media reports as “totally baseless and false”, adding that he has no plans to return to India until he felt “safe from unfair prosecution”.

With agencies input